Apple has been suing a number of device manufacturers like HTC and Samsung who make smartphones running Google’s Android OS, and many people have speculated that Apple decided to go after the manufacturers on Android rather than Google directly.
Now we hear the first accusation from Apple directly against Google, and it comes in the form of a recent filing with the ITC, where Apple are accusing Google’s Andy Rubin, who worked at Apple back in the 90’s of infringing their API.
Apple now asserts—in a filing with the ITC, which means Apple has a legal obligation to make truthful representations of fact—that Rubin’s superiors at Apple were the inventors of that realtime API patent and he worked for them at the very time they made that invention. He worked as a low-level engineer while the inventors were senior people. It’s possible that he then contributed to the implementation of the claimed invention.
Apple could possibly go after Google directly, although we suspect it may be a while before this happens as they have a number of cases pending against Android device manufacturers.
If Apple did decide to sue Google over this particular patent, and were able to gain an injunction against Google and their Android OS, then it could be bad news for Google and Android.
The outcome of the various cases between Apple and HTC and Samsung, could lead to Apple going after Google directly, if they win their cases against HTC and Samsung, they would then be in a position to take on Google direct.